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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - January
  • No Cross No Crown
    No Cross No Crown
    by Corrosion Of Conformity
Video of the Month - January
  • Return To Live (Blu-Ray)
    Return To Live (Blu-Ray)
    by Labyrinth
#DefineMetal
  • Metal: The Definitive Guide
    Metal: The Definitive Guide
    by Garry Sharpe-Young
Props

CD of the Month
  • Mudvayne
    Mudvayne
    by Mudvayne
Inspiration
  • Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground New Edition
    Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground New Edition
    by Michael Moynihan, Didrik Soderlind
  • Retribution
    Retribution
    by Shadows Fall
  • Brutal Legend
    Brutal Legend
    Electronic Arts
Thursday
Aug052010

Rage - Strings to a Web

This album is a MUST BUY!Every time Rage come out with a new CD, I have to say I get pretty geeked.  I was a late bloomer with Rage, not discovering them until 1999 with the release of Ghosts.  From the first listen I was hooked, and it made me crave more.  Luckily for me, for the next 5 years the band put out some of their strongest material to date.  To be honest, I haven't dug too deeply into the band's back catalog, but I will one day.  To me, the band hit a little bit of a snag from 2006-2008 with the releases of Speak to the Dead and Carved in Stone.  Don't get me wrong, there was some solid stuff on those records, but I think they got away from the signature riffage and core sound that fans have come to know and love.  I strongly believe that Soundchaser was the last solid CD that the band has put out, but with that said, the band has just released their 18th studio album called Strings to a Web.  Let's see if they got back on track.

Strings rips right into action with the barn-burner, Edge of Darkness.  This track starts off with a killer Eddie Van Halen (a la Mean Streak) style tapping riff by guitarist extraordinaire, Victor Smolski.  It is amazing.  The dude is a certified guitar monster.   The song then rips into a killer uptempo track with all of the trademark Rage elements intact.  The next track, Hunter and Prey, is old school Rage, reminding me of the classic track Down off of the Unity record.  It's punchy and full of great riffs and a solid chorus.  The assault doesn't stop there, because the next 2 tracks will continue to pummel the senses until you get to the killer 5th song, Empty Hollow.  This is Rage at their best, delivering monster riffs combined with killer melody.  The songs are memorable and will stick with you.  By far the best album the band has done in years, and my first pick of the month on the new site!

Bottom Line: Rage at their best.  This album delivers some of the best riffs I've heard in awhile.  The band's gone back to doing what they do best: rocking your balls off.  There are a few surprises, but they do not take away from the flow of the CD. Note: As a bonus, this package comes with a great live DVD of the band.  This is a must buy!

Standout Tracks: Hunter and Prey, Beggar's Last Dime, Empty Hollow Saga and Savior of the Dead

- Ragman wishes he and wifey were back in Germany rocking to Rage...

Tuesday
Aug032010

Paul McCartney Really Is Dead - The Last Testament of George Harrison

Interesting concepts end up seeming phonyThere are many unsolved mysteries that have perplexed mankind for years - and will continue to, until the day we die.  Who killed JFK?  Are Elvis, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin on an island partying together?  Is Paul McCartney really dead?  Who knows? But it's always fun to speculate, right?  Highway 61 Entertainment has just released a DVD containing "evidence" that may shed light on one of the great mysteries in rock and roll: Is Paul McCartney dead, or alive?  Again, who knows (work with me here)?   But it sounds like it might be an interesting watch, so let's check it out.

In 2005, a mysterious package appeared in the mail at the offices of Highway 61 Entertainment (right, "who?") containing 2 tapes that were supposedly recorded by former Beatle, George Harrison.  These tapes fuel the documentary, by trying to uncover one of the biggest mysteries in rock n rock history.  To be fair, the documentary does state that they have not been able to authenticate the voice on the tapes, but do say that the voice is eerily similar to George.   This is was a very entertaining watch - though on a down note, the dialog seems scripted at times.  If these were indeed tapes originating from Harrison, I don't believe the dialog would be so thought-out and calculated.

There's some cool footage, and the film is put together well.  The clues presented may get you scratching your head at times, but for the most part you go with it because there are some interesting clues that the lads supposedly left.  An entertaining watch for Beatle and non-Beatle fans. 

Bottom Line: A cool documentary that asks some interesting questions.  Unfortunately, the DVD seems scripted and ends up coming off a little phony.  Still entertaining, if sometimes a little far-fetched.

- Ragman is looking for a bowl to cut his hair

Saturday
Jul312010

Podcast #104: Timeless

Yup, we finally got him...Many of our idols may be becoming "senior citizens", but they still definitely rock - though for how long?  Bands like The Scorpions and AC/DC are well into their 60s, and they are still putting out relevant music, but how long before the creative juices start to dry up?  Join Genghis and Ragman as they talk about the elder statesmen of rock, and if/when they should retire.  Next, the boys grab one of their favorite vocalists of all time, Donnie Vie from Enuff Z'Nuff, for a chat.  Donnie discusses Enuff Z'Nuff's latest CD Dissonance as well as their upcoming festival appearances, and what to expect for his upcoming solo CD.

DVD of the Show: AC/DC - Family Jewels

Beer of the Show: Unibroue - Quelque Chose - Beer Rating: 2

Featured Tracks Lustra - Scotty Doesn't Know, AC/DC - Night Prowler, Scorpions - Raised on Rock, Edguy - The Pride of Creation, Thin Lizzy - Hollywood (Down on Your Luck), Blue Murder - Ptolemy, Rush - Virtuality, Enuff Z Nuff - Good Times (Are Hard to Find), Lazy Dazy, Playground, We're All Alright.

Classic of the ShowNarnia - People of the Bloodred Cross

Ragman pick of the ShowCrazy Lixx - Children of the Cross

Genghis pick of the ShowLacuna Coil - Spellbound

- Ragman needs a beer; it's friggin' hot outside!

Podcast #104: Timeless

Thursday
Jul292010

When You’re Strange: A Film About The Doors (Blu-Ray)

If you like The Doors, you'll love thisWho was the first legendary rock group to make it in America?  Britain had The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who, but what did the U.S. have?  Well in the late 60’s, a group emerged from Los Angeles, CA, that took the world by storm, and they were called The Doors.

The Doors were the prototype for the wild rock band.  They picked up where The Beatles left off and took it up a notch.  Jim Morrison  paved the way for many of the great showman we have today.  His “I don’t give a fuck" attitude and rebellious behavior catapulted the band into stardom quicker than they ever could of imagined.  Unfortunately, that same attitude - along with  excessive alcohol and drug abuse - led him to an early grave.

When You’re Strange is an excellent documentary which chronicles the band from their early days, to their untimely demise.  The band only lasted a mere 54 months before Morrison passed away in Paris in 1971.  The documentary is full of excellently preserved archival footage, from the early days up to the time that Morrison went on sabbatical in Paris.  The film, narrated by actor Johnny Depp, starts off with a rare movie featuring Morrison intermixed with the archived footage.  It's a great look behind the scenes of how some of the classic albums were made and recorded.  I was also impressed with how director Tom DiCillo brought out the displeasure of Manzarek, Krieger and Densmore, during Morrison’s more self destructive times.  All in all a very entertaining watch. 

Bottom Line:  All you wanted to know about The Doors and more.  An excellent documentary chronicling an iconic band.

- Ragman wonders what Oli Stone thinks of this one...

Wednesday
Jul282010

Classic Albums - Black Sabbath - Paranoid (Blu-Ray)

A great documentary about a great album!It amazing to think that Black Sabbath released Paranoid 40 years ago.  It is an album that has stood the test of time, and still sounds fresh today.  Paranoid is one of those records that artists dream of making, because it is an album full of solid tunes.  No fillers.  To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Paranoid, Eagle Rock Entertainment has recently released the Classic Albums special on Blu-Ray and DVD.  The show originally aired on VH-1 Classic as part of their classic albums series, but this release comes with so much bonus footage, it warrants a view.   The Classic Album series is a cool concept, because it gives you a behind the scenes look into how the magic was created.  This show does a good job of gathering all of the original members of Black Sabbath as well as the producer Tom Allom for a total recount of what went down when they made the record.

Paranoid was a great watch.  The Blu-Ray is full of great interviews with the band as well as a one on on with Iommi and his axe.  The material with Iommi was probably my favorite, because it features him playing some or the fiercest riffs from the record.  It is almost like a one on one lesson with the master.   Another highlight, is hearing the original, improvised lyrics by a young Ozzy for the title track.  Priceless.  Paranoid explores the band's origins, before kicking into the making of one of their best albums ever.  It is full of classic footage as well as new interviews done especially for this special.  The clarity of the Blu-Ray is unmatched and gives you a sense of being in the room with the lads as they recount the making of the album.  A solid watch from start to finish, with 42 minutes of extras.

Bottom Line: Classic Sabbath at its best.  Find out how one of the greatest metal albums of all time was created.   Even if you’re not the biggest Sabbath fan, this is a great watch because it is interesting to see how the band worked out the songs and recorded back in the day.

- Ragman is a sucker for a good documentary.